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comes far short of keeping all the commandments perfectly: I hope he will no longer be so well conceited of his own righteousness as he has formerly been. But now, sir, I pray you tell me before I depart, whether you would have me to endeavour to make the same use of the law which you have advised him to make.

Evan. No, neighbour Neophitus, I look not upon you as an unbeliever, as I did upon him, but I look upon you as one who has already been by the law driven out of yourself unto Jesus Christ; I look upon you as a true believer, and as a person already justified in the sight of God by faith in Christ, and so as one who is neither to question your inheritance in heaven, nor fear your portion in hell. And therefore I will not persuade you to labour to yield obedience to the law, by telling you, that the more obedient you are thereunto, the easier torments you shall have in hell, as I did him; neither would I have you to make application of the curse of the law to yourself, as I advised him to do; for if you do truly and thoroughly believe (as God requires you) that Jesus Christ (1 John iii. 23.) the Son of God and your Surety, has, by his active and passive obedience, fully discharged and paid both the debt and the forfeiture which the law and justice of God obliged you to pay, then will not you yield obedience to the law, to pay that which you do truly believe is fully paid and discharged already; and if you do not yield obedience to the law to discharge that, then do you not yield obedience to the law, in hopes to be thereby made just, or justified in the sight of God; and if you yield not obedience to the law, in hopes to be thereby made just, or justified in the sight of God, then are you not of the works of the law; and if you are not of the works of the law, then are you not under the curse of the law; and if you be not under the curse of the law, then must you not make application of the curse unto yourself. And therefore, whensoever you shall either hear or read these words, “Cursed is every one which continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them,” and your conscience tells you that you have not, and do not continue in all things, and that therefore you are accursed; then do you make so much use of the curse, as thereby to take occasion by faith to cleave more close unto Christ, and say, O law, tly curse is not to coine into my conscience! my conscience is freed from it! for though it is true I have not continued “in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them,” yet this my Surety Jesus Christ has continued in all things for me, so that although I am unable to pay either the debt or the forfeiture, yet he has paid them both for me, and so has discharged me from the curse ; and therefore I fear it not.

Neo. But, sir, though I be a believer, and so be set free from the curse of the law, yet I suppose I ought to endeavour to do somewhat that is required, and to avoid whatsoever is forbidden in the law.

Evan. Yea, neighbour Neophitus, that you ought indeed, for mind it, I pray you, thus stands the case; so soon as any man does truly believe, and so is justified in the sight of God, then, as the Holy Ghost, from the testimony of holy writ, does warrant us to conceive, Jesus Christ, or, which is all one, God in Christ, does deliver unto him whatsoever is required and forbidden in the ten coinmandments, saying, (Col. ii. 14; Eph. ii. 15,) “ This hand-writing, even this law of commandments which was against thee, and contrary to thee, whilst it was in the hands of my Father, as he stood in relation to thee as a Judge, and was not cancelled, but had the curse or penalty annexed to it, (Isa. xxxviii. 14,) and so had power to convince, (Heb. vii. 22,) accuse, condemn, and bind thee over to punishment; I, who undertook for thee, and became thy Surety, have paid the principal debt, and have also answered the forfeiture which did lie against thee for the breach of that boud; and my Father has delivered it into mine hands, and I have blotted out the curse or penalty, so that one letter or tittle remains not for thee to see; yea, I have taken it out of thy way, and fastened it to my cross, yea, and torn it in pieces with the nails of my cross, so that it is altogether frustrate, and has no force at all against thee. Yet notwithstanding the matter contained in this law, even those precepts and prohibitions which I have now delivered unto thee, being the mind and will of my Father, and the eternal and unchangeable rule of righteousness, and that which is in my heart, Psalm xl. 8; yea, and that which I have promised to write in the hearts of all those that are mine, Jer, xxxi. 33: yea, and that which I have promised to make them yield willing obedience unto, Psalm cx. 8; I and my father do command it unto thee, as that rule of obedience whereby thou art to express thy love and thankfulness unto us for what we have done for thee. And therefore I will say no more unto thee but this, “If thou love me, keep my commandments," John xiv. 15. And thou art my friend, “ If thou do whatsoever I command thee," John xv. 14.

Neo. But, sir, does God in Christ require me to yield perfect obedience to all the ten commandments, according as you have this day expounded them?

Evan. I answer, yea, for though God in Christ do not require of you, or any true believer, any obedience to the law at all by way of satisfaction to his justice, for that Christ has fully done already; yet does he require, that every true believer do purpose, desire, and

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endeavour to do their best to keep all the ten commandments perfectly, according as I have this day expounded them; witness the saying of Christ himself, (Matt. v. 48.) “Be ye therefore perfect, as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

Neo. But, sir, do you think it possible, that either I, or any believer else, should keep the commandments perfectly, according as you have this day expounded them?

Evan. () no! both you, and I, and every believer else, have, and shall have cause to say with the apostle, (Phil. iii. 12.) “Not as though I had already attained, or were already perfect."

Neo. But will God in Christ accept of obedience, if it be not perfect?

Evan. Yea, neighbour Neophitus, you being a justified person, and so it not being in the case of justification, but in the case of child-like obedience, I may without fear of danger, say unto you, God will accept the word for the deed, and * will

spare you as a man spares his son that serves him," Mal. iii. 18. Yea, like as a father pities his children, so the Lord will pity you, “ for he knoweth your frame, le remembereth that you are dust,” Psalm ciii. 13, 14. Nay, he will not only spare you and pity you for what you do not, but he will also reward you for what you do.

Neo. Say you so, sir? then I beseech you tell me what this reward shall be.

Evan. Why, if there be degrees of glory in heaven, as some, both godly and learned, have conceived there is, then I tell you that the more obedient you are unto the law, the more shall be your glory in heaven; but because degrees of glory are disputable, I cannot assure you of that. How beit, this you may assure yourself, that the more obedience you yield unto the ten commandments, the more you please your most gracious God and loving Father in Christ, 1 Sam. xv. 22; and the more your conscience witnesseth that you please God, the more quiet you shall feel it to be, and the more inward peace you shall have, according to that of the Psalmist, “Great peace have they that love thy law, and nothing shall offend them." For though faith in the blood of Christ has made your peace with God as a Judge, yet obedience must keep your peace with him as a Father; yea, the more your conscience witnesseth that you do that which pleases God, the more encouragement you will have, and the more confidently you will approach towards God in prayer. “Beloved,” says the loving apostle, “ if our hearts condemn us not, then have we boldness towards God,” John iii. 21; for though faith in the blood of Christ takes away that guilt which subjects you to the legal carse, yet obedience must take away that guilt which subjects

you to a fatherly displeasure. Furthermore, you are to know, that the more obedience you yield unto the ten commandments, the more temporal blessings, outward prosperity, and comfort of this life (in the ordinary course of God's dealing) you shall have: “01” says the Lord, “ that my people bad hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways, he should soon have fed them with the finest of the wheat, and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee.” Besides, the more obedience you yield unto the ten commandments, the more glory you will bring to God, according to that of our Saviour, John xv. 8, “Herein is my Father giorified, that yo bear much fruit.“ To conclude, the more obedience you yield unto the ten commandments, the more good you will do unto others, according to that of the apostle, Tit. iii. 8, “ This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in Christ might be careful to maintain good works; these things are good and profitable unto men.”

Neo. But, sir, what if I should not purpose, desire, and endeavour to yield obedience to all the ten commandments, as you say the Lord requires; what then?

Evan. Why then, although it is true you have no cause to fear that God will proceed against you, as a wrathful judge proceeds against a malefactor, yet have you cause to fear that he will proceed against you as a displeased father does against an offending child; that is to say, although you have no cause to fear that he will unjustify you, and unson you, and deprive you of your heavenly inheritance, and inflict the penalty of the law of works upon you, and so condemn you, for says the apostle, “There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus,” Rom. viii. 1; yet have you cause to fear that he will hide his fatherly face and withdraw the light of his countenance from you; and that your conscience will be ever accusing and disquieting of you, which if it do, then will you draw back, and be afraid to ask any of God in prayer; for even as a child whose conscience tells him that he has angered and displeased his father, will be unwilling to come into his father's presence, especially to ask of him any thing that he wants, even so it will be with you; and besides, you shall be sure to be whipped and scourged with many bodily and temporal chastisements and corrections, according to that which is said concerning Jesus Christ and his seed, even true believers, and justified persons, Psal. lxxxix. 31-33, “ If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; if they break my statutes, and walk not in my commandments, then will I visit their transgressions with the rod, and their iniquities with stripes. Nevertheless, my loving kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.”

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Wherefore, neighbour Neophitus, to apply these things a little more closely to you, and so to conclude, let me exhort you, when you come home, call to mind and consider every commandment according as you have heard them this day expounded, and resolve to endeavour yourself to do thereafter; and always take notice how and wherein you fail and come short of doing what is required, and of avoiding what is forbidden; and especially be careful to do this when you are called to humble yourself before the Lord in fasting and prayer, and upon occasion of going to receive the sacrament of the Lord's supper, and so shall you make a right use of the law.

Neo. And, sir, why would you have me more especially to take notice of my sins when I am called to humble myself before the Lord in fasting and prayer ?

Evan. Because the more sinful you see yourself to be, the more humble will your heart be ; and the more humble your heart is, the more fit you will be to pray, and the more the Lord will regard your prayers : wherefore when upon occasion of some heavy and sore affliction, either felt, or feared to come upon yourself, or some sore judgment and calamity either felt, or feared to come upon the nation or place where you live, the Lord calls you to humble yourself in fasting and prayer, then do you hereupon take occasion to meditate, and consider seriously what duties are required, and what sips are forbidden in every one of the ten commandmeuts, and then consider how many of those duties you have omitted, and how many of those sins you have coinmitted; consider also the sinful manner of performing those duties yon bave performed, and the base and sinful self ends which you have had in the performance of them : consider also how many sinful corruptions there are in your heart, which break not forth in your life, and the disposition of heart which you have naturally to every sin which you do not commit; and then consider, that although the sins which you do now commit are not a transgression of the law of works, because you are not now under the law, Rom. vi. 14; yet are they a transgression of the law of Christ, because you are still under the law, 1 Cor. ix. 31. And though they be not committed against God as standing in relation to you as a wrathful Judge, yet have they been committed against him as he stands in relation to you as a merciful loving Father; and though they subject you not to the wrath of a Judge, nor to the penalty of the law of works, yet they subject you to the anger and displeasure of a loving Father, and to the penalty of the law of Christ.

Whereupon, do you draw near unto God by prayer, saying unto him after this manner :

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